New bill at Stormont aims to protect tenants from rogue landlords

The public’s views have been sought on a new bill aiming to provide tenants with better protection by ensuring landlords and agents meet regulations about the quality and safety of the accommodation they offer.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:30 pm
Committee for Communities chair Paula Bradley.   Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Committee for Communities chair Paula Bradley. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The Assembly’s committee for communities wants people’s opinions on the Private Tenancies Bill, focusing on the regulation of the private rented sector which accounts for more than 17% of housing stock in NI.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

If passed, this new bill seeks to safeguard tenants by ensuring a legislative requirement for written tenancy agreements, restrictions on rent increases and an increase in the eviction notice period.

Committee chair Paula Bradley (pictured) said: “Private rental sector growth is likely to continue if first-time buyers are priced out of the market due to rising house prices and the potential shortage of accessible and affordable mortgage products.

“While rogue landlords continue to be in the minority, the fact remains that they do exist, and with many of our citizens facing economic uncertainty and hardship, regulating this sector to better protect the vulnerable is a priority for the committee.”